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A bad day for Moretti
but a lucky one for the Auto Sport Ferrari Team

Monza, March 29, 1998

Fourth win at Monza for Bscher in a sequence
Two Ferrari in front at the start
Ferrari finishing 2nd and happy Tifosi

Although many people expected the famous 1000 Kilometers of Monza to be won by a Ferrari in 1998, the car that eventually came in on 1st was a McLaren-BMW. Dr. Thomas Bscher, a banker from Cologne/Germany well known for his passion for Maserati cars, and his co-driver Geoff Lees piloted their McLaren F1 GTR to the win.

Initially, everything had looked like if the Ferrari 333 SP of the team Moretti/Baldi/Theys was again to dominate this race after winning at Daytona and Sebring earlier this year. They had been on the pole position, having set a time of 1:37,584 in qualifying. Another 333 SP of the Doyle-Risi Team, piloted by Taylor/van de Poele, had gained the 2nd position on the grid.

After the start, the two Ferrari had taken the lead immediately, but they were forced to come into the pits for refueling very early and so the McLaren took over their leading position. The Monza 1000 Kilometers use the same reglement as the 24 Hours of Le Mans that gives advantages to the GT-cars compared to the sports cars since the latter's tank capacity is about 20 liters lower than the one of the GTs due to these regulations, despite of the fact that the consumption of the sports cars is higher than the one of the GTs.

Nevertheless, the two Ferrari regained the lead again for a while, but shortly after several problems took any chance to win from them.

Van de Poele ended up with an empty tank, but was able to continue the race after his teammate Wayne Taylor had provided him with some gas out of a portable container (this action was actually not conformable to the regulations). They eventually came in on 6th position, missing 26 laps on the winning car, but were soon taken out of the ranking due to their unorthodox way of handling the fuel problem.

The Momo-entered Ferrari spent much time in the pits to reline the brakes. After its sixth pitstop, its engine somehow refused to be started again, and the race was over.

After the drop-out of the Momo car, there were no obstacles left to take the overall win from the McLaren-BMW of Bscher and Lees. They eventually came in on 1st, while the Ferrari 333 SP of Calderari/Bryner/Zarda/Nappi was the lucky 2nd. This result achieved by the yellow Ferrari made the many Italian tifosi who had come to the royal park at Monza very happy after they had been somewhat depressed by the drop-out of the favorite 333 SP.

The yellow 333 SP was race-prepared by Team Sport Auto and is very likely to be seen at Le Mans in June as well. The team for the famous 24 hours race will probably consist of Enzo Calderari, Alex Caffi and Massimiliano Papis; Lilian Bryner, the lady-driver from Switzerland, will obviously not participate. She recently pointed out that the 333 SP is a really hard to drive car compared to her Porsche 911 GT2 which she used to drive last year.

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